Round 4: Google Vs Sony

Google is like the elephant that never forgets… and it knows all of your personal information. Do you trust it not to be “evil?” Or is Google just a nice name for “Big Brother?” Let’s not forget how they bowed to Chinese government demands that Chinese users be prevented from seeing certain search results, like information about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

Sony is a member of former Worst Company in America winner, the RIAA. When its not fake blogging, it can be found installing a rootkit on your computer and finding lots of ways to void your warranty.

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. Keep track of all the goings on at

STILL OPEN FOR VOTING: Ticketmaster vs Wachovia, Facebook vs The American Arbitration Association, Comcast vs Menu Foods
(Photo:Jeff Sanquist)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Angryrider says:

    Too easy… Google gives us friggin’ $10 discounts and free services.
    Sony overcharges us and gives us lame excuses for their poor showing.

  2. lonewolf333 says:

    Google is scum

  3. Thomas Palmer says:

    Are you serious?   This is the first time I’m getting involved with this “contest/face-off,” and I’m just surprised Google is on the list.   It isn’t very hard to NOT post any information on the internet that you don’t want there.

  4. EBounding says:

    If you’re worried about your privacy, you shouldn’t be using the internet.

  5. sgodun says:

    So, wait….. The contestants here are a company that COULD do something but HASN’T, and a company that HAS done something and STILL IS? Am I missing something here? I fail to see the logic in including Google.

  6. royal72 says:

    where’s the “this is a pointless unpopularity contest and has no relevance to anything useful at all” button?

  7. EllenRose says:

    Tell me, Consumerist – just HOW do I vote here? I don’t see any buttons, and the links seem to take me to similar stories also without buttons. Is using NoScript disabling me?

  8. plustax says:

    I’m voting for Sony in this round mostly because I am a bit bitter that I bought the wrong DVD player. Who knew Toshiba was going to throw in the towel on the HD-DVD when we bought it last Fall.

  9. Geekybiker says:

    I think google is actually a pretty good company for the most part.

  10. mgy says:

    Is this the most one-sided vote yet?

    I don’t have a particular problem with sony, but google has singlehandedly put me through college.

  11. mopar_man says:

    If only Google would start it’s own auctions to beat down eBay, we could welcome our new overlord. Until then, Sony gets my vote.

  12. B says:

    @sgodun: It’s a seeded Tournament. This is like a #1 seed going up against a #16.

  13. urban_ninjya says:

    I’ll play the devils advocate. Of course the Sony rootkit already trumpts Google.

    People don’t realize that Google is a privacy violation waiting to happen. The more and more services you use from google, the more and more you can become a target.

    Notice how some of the ads seem to track you whereever you go? It’s no coincidence that searches you do trigger key words and all the google adsense affiliates will display ads.

    Google these days are getting more and more into politics. Imagine the political leverage they can get knowing all the search patterns of pretty much anyone in the world, including our politicians?

    I get the feeling there’s an evil mastermind waiting to blossom @ google.

  14. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    @EllenRose: Yes.

  15. urban_ninjya says:

    @mgy: First few rounds will be pretty much one-sided. It’s like the playoffs, they put the lower ranking teams against the top ranking teams for quicker eliminations, and it’s more likely for the top ranking team to make it to the end.

    Say you have.. #1 vs. #4 and #2 vs. #3. Most likely it’ll be #1 vs. #2 at the end. While if you did #1 vs. #2 and #3 vs. #4. You’ll end up with #1 vs. #3 at the end.

  16. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    Do no evil, FTW!

  17. krom says:

    Google may store our information, but we do so willingly.

    Sony meanwhile spies on our computers without telling us and keeps us from using our property.

    At least Google lets us use our property whenever we want.

  18. FilthyHarry says:

    SWG. Screw Sony.

  19. this is definitely gonna be one of those “look back twenty years and laugh at our innocence” type of posts when google turns into some diabolical umbrella corp. type entity. Yeah, I went there

  20. AaronZ says:

    I <3 Google. I hate sony. ’nuff said.

  21. ARP says:

    In addition to its strident support of stupid DRM, don’t forget Sony and all its foolish proprietary formats: ATRAC, memory stick, etc.

    Their products are far too expensive for their value now. In the past they could get away with it because of their elegant design or functionality. Now, they’re the Moto RAZR of electronics.

    Luckily, there’s competition out there.

  22. AceKicker says:

    Face it. Even if you had a reason to hate Google, if they offered you a job at their offices YOU’D TAKE IT WITHOUTH SKIPPING A BEAT.

    I don’t suspect Sony will last too far into the tournament, but this matchup isn’t hard.

  23. jaydez says:

    I vote Sony cus Bluray is overpriced and bullied my HD-DVD out of the market.

    I can’t vote though, gotta do it when I get home. Stupid Thin Client machine.

  24. toddvm says:

    The voting button isn’t working for some reason.

  25. Meg Marco says:

    @sgodun: The companies were nominated by readers, then there was a vote to determine the top 64 seeds. Google got enough votes to be included.

  26. Trai_Dep says:

    Wow, it’s like frolicking puppies & nuzzling unicorns versus Sauron & George Bush.

    I smell: SHUT-OUT!

  27. dorkins says:

    Gee, so few seem upset at Google’s cooperation with the Chinese government to censor the web. Just so they can make money in China.

    From their corporate philosophy:

    4. Democracy on the web works.

    6. You can make money without doing evil.


    8. The need for information crosses all borders.

    Where’s the anger at their hypocrisy?

  28. dorkins says:

    But I would still accept a job with them … because no company is perfect. :)

  29. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @royal72: The back button should be at the top of your browser. Backspace works too.

  30. Buran says:

    Sony in an instant. I have a PS3 from them just for the blu-ray upgradeability (I am NOT a console gamer) and they lost money on the sale because consoles are sold below cost with the expectation that you’ll buy the overpriced ($60) games.

    In other words, you can screw Sony by actually using their product because the alternatives will be out of date soon so Sony is, sadly, the only realistic choice at this point. Win.

  31. axiomatic says:

    Diametric opposites.

    Not your best poll Consumerist.

    You might as well have said….

    Which company is worse?
    1. Cute Fluffy Lovable Bunnies
    2. Sony

  32. sprocket79 says:

    I went to the SCEA Christmas party and had to endure the Dope MC’s.” That alone is worth my vote. Anyone who treats their employees that way should be forced out of business. (No I don’t work there, I just know people who do)

  33. DeafChick says:

    I will always remember Sony = Dust. The comments were full of lulz.

  34. Verdigris says:

    I voted for Sony because they were that cause of the fall of the greatest console known to man… long live DC!

  35. forgottenpassword says:

    Ok, this is how I see it.

    Since I try not to put too much info about myself on the net (I am paranoid that way)…. I figure that google doesnt have THAT much info on me. At least none that could be traced back to me specificially since I surf via a clean laptop & unsecured wifi networks that arent my own. Purchases, bill-paying, & accessing my bank accounts i leave to a different computer that is secure that is only used for those purposes. I dont use google while on THAT computer. I do my searches on the other one (mentioned earlier). Like I said… I am a bot paranoid when it comes to my privacy.

    As for sony, I have been gouged & sold defective equipment by them in the past. And then told to go screw when i complained. IMO Sony is an overpriced behemoth that doesnt give a shit about its customers.

    To me… at least google is usefull once used carefully (kind of like how credit cards are).

    So my vote goes to sony (and being affiliated with the EVIL RIAA puts it over the top votewise).

  36. loueloui says:

    Is it too late to ask for additional features? Maybe we could add a ‘both’ button. Sony is poison, sure. But Google and their ‘Don’t be evil’ slogan is really wearing thin. Sure, free software is good, but tracking every movement I ever made on the web is not.I guess evil is in the eye of the beholder.

  37. dorkins says:

    @DeafChick: lulz?

  38. mike says:

    I like google. It’s kind of like Microsoft…except with a better PR department.

  39. mike says:

    @axiomatic: I think this is done on purpose so that the big condenders go to the “final four”. Same thing in NCAA.

  40. Randomeis says:

    I know it is my fault for being baited w/ their free song downloads and the BOGO Album deals- but for Sony to close Connect without a realistic way to convert their music to a DRM free state. That earns them a vote from me.

  41. mac-phisto says:

    @dorkins: you bring up a good point, but i don’t think they are working with china to censor the internet so much as they are making concessions to provide more access than would otherwise be available. i believe the concept is to stick one’s foot in the door with the hopes that one day it will open all the way.

    it’s an interesting matchup, nonetheless. one company seeks to control by providing unlimited access to its products & services – creating a world full of users & developers. the other seeks to control by limiting access as much as possible with proprietary formats & services – limiting production & development within their product lines & stretching the concept of IP to its very limits.

  42. m1k3g says:

    Sony is the biggest piece of crap, couldn’t-care-less-about-customer-service company in the friggin world. Those bastards will NEVER get another penny’s worth of business from me! I hope they go out of business as soon as possible.

  43. azntg says:

    Sony gets my vote by a long shot. Shoddy quality, anti-consumer stance and overpriced goods are enough reasons for me.

  44. momotalo says:

    What kind of comparison is this? I know Sony’s product, but what about Google? I never heard of their product. I only use it for google-ing.

    I have no problem with both companies. Sony’s products are expensive, but you can get other substitute products for lesser price. Quality? What’s wrong with their quality?

  45. sardonumspa says:

    Which is worse?

    {O} Cancer

    {O} Kittens


  46. axiomatic says:

    @sohmc: Didn’t think of it that way. good point ;-)

  47. t_wfl70 says:

    I own many (maybe too many now that I think about it) SONY products. If I’m in the market for a product SONY sells, I’m going to buy SONY. I have never had any problems with their support. Hell last year they sent me a free wireless microphone for a camcorder that I bought from them. I might have had a problem with that rootkit stunt they pulled, but I haven’t bought a CD in 10 years.

    I have nothing against Google. Never had a reason to.

    That said, I had to go with SONY. Because of something they did many years ago. I’m a bit surprised it isn’t on their “list” of atrocities. Any of you who played EQ back in the day may remember a place called the East Commons Tunnel. A place where people gathered to buy/sell or trade wares. A place of just plain social goodness. Well for those of you who know about what I am talking about. Remember how it was all there one day and then gone the next? SONY killed it!

    Oh well, if anyone needs me I’ll be weeping under torch #2 on some EMU server somewhere…

  48. Fuzz says:

    Sony, because everything I or family members have ever bought from them has been a steaming pile of dung. And Google gives me free email, picture hosting, document hosting and an RSS reader. What has Sony done for me lately?

  49. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    And soon Google will hold all your medical records AND provide satellite tracking of your movements for law enforcement agencies and any other goon that wants to keep track of you.

  50. karmaghost says:

    I chose SONY even though I own a bunch of their shit, including a phone, battery charger, amplifier, etc. I think their products are great, but things like root kits and proprietary formats (UMD, BluRay, Memory Stick, etc.) coupled with a general sense of arrogance gave them my vote over Google. I wouldn’t expect them to make it very far in the brackets, though.

  51. iDevin says:

    Everyone in my office pool chose Sony to advance. And we work for Sony.

  52. GC says:

    Neither of these companies are evil.

  53. BStu says:

    What is this? a 16 seed going up against a 10 seed? I get why both should be in discussion, but we’ve had a series of polls that were evil company vs. evil company, and now we’ve got sad sack Sony vs. decidedly not evil Google? Is that really fair? I mean, I just missed a chance to vote for a company that poisoned dogs because they actually weren’t the most evil of the two that day. Frankly, I’d vote for everyone I didn’t vote for to date over either of these two.

    And you’re seriously reminding of us of how you helped some loser scammer get a free PS3 in making the case against Sony? I still haven’t gotten my free PS3. Is that why Sony is evil? Because some customers end up with free stuff they don’t deserve thanks to credit card companies?

  54. CyberSkull says:

    Sony FTW here.

  55. Fuzz says:

    You say that like there is a history of Google doing stuff like that. Which there isn’t btw.

  56. deadlizard says:

    Google has no business being here. It should be in the Best Company in America poll.

  57. asherchang2 says:

    Google censors Encyclopedia Dramatica and balances “scientology” results in Scientology’s favor, in addition to killing google bombs. Boo.

  58. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I mean, I just missed a chance to vote for a company that poisoned dogs…

    @BStu: All the previous polls are supposed to still be open for voting. Is it not working?

  59. BStu says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: I missed voting for them because the other option was more evil. Yet here we have two not really terribly evil options pitted against each other.

  60. JustaConsumer says:

    I have no clue why Google is on the list. I do have a PS2 that is now a paperweight.

  61. This is kind of a lopsided battle… especially since Consumerist is the sister site of Fanboy nation (Aka: Kotaku )

  62. wessev says:

    This is why Google is on the list, and why they should make it into the finals.


  63. strathmeyer says:

    @urban_ninjya: “First few rounds will be pretty much one-sided. It’s like the playoffs, they put the lower ranking teams against the top ranking teams for quicker eliminations, and it’s more likely for the top ranking team to make it to the end.”

    The “first round” will be your only chance to make sure you are choosing correctly.

  64. JDAC says:

    ooh, tough choice! Google make the tools that make my job and hobby easier (web developer and photography).

    Sony make my PSP and camera…

    Damn, Sony it is for the RIAA link.

  65. vancedecker says:

    Sony, no contest.

    Google’s products are free, novel, and useful. Any evil has so far been eclipsed by innumerable benefits. Just take the new street-view feature in Google Maps. It just popped in one day to make my life easier. (yay! bubbles.)

    Sony makes great electronic products, usually, but makes life much more annoying overall with their stupid proprietary formats such as memory stick/magic-gate debacle and visually pollutes the environment with movies such as Snakes on a Plane and adding shiny LCD coatings to computer screens.